10 things I love about my sister Kathy
1. If there were a World’s Championship Boggle tournament, my sister would smear everybody. When we play at family parties, it’s a contest to see who comes in 2nd because everybody already knows Kathy will win by about a zillion points.
2. She’s the only person I know who could find a way to use the “Oh, let’s learn the zones, the zones the zones, the zones of the open sea” song from Finding Nemo in her master’s thesis. And she managed to make it sound scholarly.
3. She rescued me from an otherwise terrifying experience of class registration my freshman year in High School. When all the science classes were full, she walked me over to Mr. Marty Monson’s table and talked him into signing me up for AP Biology. Thanks to her recommendation (and her reputation as a brain) he let me be the first ever freshman to take the class – and later the first to get a 5 on the test.
4. Kathy puts up with my self-centeredness and would never judge me for making a list about her into a brag session about my High School test scores.
5. I can chart my life by the sewing projects Kathy has helped me with. She resuscitated my stuffed gonk for Junior High Home Ec. class, stayed up late the night before a date dance to finish my turquoise drop-waist dress, altered my wedding gown, helped me turn the maternity pants I was sewing from 747 wing covers into something I could actually wear, and spent HOURS ironing triangles for the border of Ethan’s first quilt. I expect a handmade polyester mumu from her the day I enter the nursing home.
6. She has adopted 3 wonderful children – Kyra, Shadow and Holly. She takes good care of them, co-sleeps with them, is very protective of them and comes to their defense if anyone says something to hurt their feelings. She saved Shadow from an abusive home and turned him from a barking juvenile delinquent into a loving puppy dog. Literally.
7. She also forgives me for being allergic to her youngest child and she vacuums up cat dander before I come to visit.
8. Kathy gives my kids the greatest presents even though I only give her kids the occasional chew toy. When you ask any of my boys who’s their favorite aunt, they will yell, “Aunt Kathy!” This is in no way due to the brainwashing and careful coaching they have received since birth.
9. One of my most vivid memories from youth is the day Kathy and Teri took me with them on a late-night jaunt to Arctic Circle for shakes. While parked in the drive-up window, our stationwagon – the car that put the “old” in Oldsmobile – decided it had had enough of this cruel world and burst into flames. I will never forget standing on the curb with my melting ice cream, watching smoke billow from under the hood as every fire engine and police car in the county arrived to witness the scene. I also remember Kathy tugging the hems of her jeans over her toes in case anyone noticed that she had been driving with bare feet. I’ve always thought this bit of information might prove to be useful, but she’s no longer embarrassed by it. So much for my blackmail scheme.
10. Kathy is a High School teacher who has touched thousands of young lives. She is more than a teacher to these students – she’s a mentor, score-keeper, spiritual advisor, chaperone, crisis hotline, one-woman cheer squad, foster mother, and friend. There’s no way to measure how far her influence has carried and will continue to carry in their lives.
Oh and she is also an amazing teacher. That’s the part she actually gets paid for.
Next year I'll have to do 100 things because I've got plenty more. I love you Kathy.